So Trump's pandemic PR guy went on such a rant that he had to delete his account.

Kind of on-brand, if you think about it.
Wait, what could he possibly have said that was that bad?

To be fair, I'd probably delete my account if I claimed my Catholic faith brought me peace, used to instead it to bully people with threads of damnation, and bolloxed up the theology in the process.

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More from @CT_Bergstrom

18 Sep
Here's a remarkably misleading #dataviz via @BethPathak.

Sure looks like the pediatric COVID situation is getting better, right?
Maybe it's coincidence, but it looks a lot the way that I've been able to bring my time spent on zoom calls under control over the course of the pandemic.

Pretty impressive!
Not so much.

Here's a regular cumulative plot of my time spent on zoom.
Read 7 tweets
18 Sep
Just written out, the binomial expansion of (a+b)^100 is really quite beautiful in the visual pattern it forms.
Look at that lovely inner arc! What's going on? Well, the decimal representation of x forms a graph of log x.

So we're graphing Log [100!/(x!(100-x)!)]

Now use log n! ≈ n log n−n.

Rearrange and you get 100 H(m/n), where H is the entropy function—which is that inner arc!
So, we can use Sterling's approximation to predict the spatial layout of Mathematica text when we write out the binomial expansion of a+b.

*This post brought to you by the Department of I have an article draft due before I go to bed.
Read 8 tweets
18 Sep
You've probably heard by now that a group of nearly 100 Stanford medical faculty wrote an open letter disavowing the claims made by Trump's coronavirus advisor Scott Atlas. It seems that Atlas has taken a page from his boss's playbook, and is threatening to sue for defamation.
I've read the original letter Stanford several times and cannot find anything libelous or even reckless. I think it would be exceptionally hard for Atlas to establish he has never fostered "falsehoods and misrepresentations of science."

int.nyt.com/data/documentt…
The letter from Atlas's attorney is also impressive, as @mikha_ehl points out, in its all-out commitment to the "I never said that, and besides lots of people said it with me" defense.
Read 7 tweets
17 Sep
I haven't even gone to bed last night yet and today's bullshit coronavirus story is already here, courtesy of @pbleic.

Elsevier's journal _Medical Hypotheses_ brings us a paper entitled "The use of aspirated consonants during speech may increase the transmission of COVID-19".
That's right. The hypothesis is that English speakers may be more likely to spread COVID because the aspirated consonants at the end of words (p,k,t) generate respiratory droplets.
The paper draws on an obscure 2003 letter in The Lancet, which made a similar argument about SARS.

That letter is four short paragraphs long; you might as well read the whole thing.

ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/P…
Read 15 tweets
16 Sep
A good question about preprints in an era of weaponized misinformation. I think the cat was out of the bag in 1991 with gopher and TeX. Zenodo, where this is posted, isn't a conventional preprint server like arXiv, medRxiv, etc—it's just a digital repository for research records.
The problem is, if there are news outlets eager to run this stuff and propagandists willing to "flood the zone with shit", it doesn't matter what restrictions we put into place around preprint servers and preprint culture more generally. Image
I don't think that anyone believes that the huge stable of science writers at the New York Post or for Tucker Carlson's show were scanning obscure data repositories in hopes of a COVID scoop when they came across this paper.

It was fed to them. I don't see how to stop that.
Read 4 tweets

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